Directed By: Youssef Chahine
Cairo Station is the film that put Egyptian master director Chahine on the international map.It plays like a masterpiece of Italian neo-realism. In Cairo’s busy rail terminus, passions aresimmering: hard-working porter Abou Serib forms a workers’ union; his fiancée Hanoumauses her flirtatious charm to sell lemonade to train passengers; news vendor Kenaoui(played by Chahine himself, who was also a master actor) has designs on her, but he’s asimple-minded soul with little choice but to suffer her teasing taunts. Fascinated by girlieimages in magazines, he’s yearning for revenge on a world that has excluded him. At firstglance, the upfront sexuality startles in a film from an Arab country in 1958, but the biggerpicture captures a society experiencing rapid change under Nasser. Chahine excels in socialobservation, florid melodrama and dark suspense. It’s a strikingly controlled, confident, bitingdisplay, which leaves you wondering how it fits in Egypt’s reputation for melodrama.
The film is part of BFI’s ‘LOVE’ season.
Chpater Arts Center, Cardiff: 21st November from 3.00 pm Book Tickets